We are also getting lined up to do a Grocery Challenge when we come back from the holiday at half-term. The girls and I are looking at the rules, and have so far decided that we will be going from the 6th June to the 22nd July, so that is the rest of the school term. They are on board, which is always a bonus! There will be 7 weeks, or 47 days as it starts on a Monday and ends on a Friday, and we will have £100. We will be eating what we have in the storecupboards and freezers, what we can grow and what we are given! I have to say that we never actually ask for anything, but UJ rarely comes here empty-handed! To be fair, he often goes home with some eggs or a cake, or a dinner, so he gets something in return. I will not be buying extra food to stash away in the meantime, but will just be buying the usual bits and pieces. I will have to do some shopping this weekend to make sure that UJ has everything he likes whilst he is here chicken-sitting, and then the challenge will begin when we go back to school after the holiday.
The £100 will be for food. Other purchases are kept to an absolute minimum during challenges, considered on a "do you really have to have that? isn't there something else you could use?" basis, and there will be no book/toy/game/DVD/entertainment purchases whatsoever. No clothes, shoes, household items, extravagances of any kind.
Why? Because we can, because we have lots of stores and we could do with using some of it up to free some space in the freezers for this year's produce, because it will save us about £500 or more in cold hard cash in the bank, which can be saved! I will be keeping track of how much is put in the savings account, and will post it as we go through. I will also be posting shopping lists and menus, so i can keep track of what we are eating, and hopefully that what we are eating is still relatively balanced. I will be doing an inventory before we start, but I won't be posting that as it is bound to run to pages and pages - we have a lot of stores!
The other reason for doing this now is that we have some big bills coming up, and they just have to be paid! June sees the Vectra needing a new tax disc at £210, July brings the Volvo's turn at £215, and the TV license as well at £145.50, and the RAC membership too. I looked at paying for the RAC with Tesco clubcard vouchers, but they want £58 in vouchers for the membership we have, and I can do more interesting things with the children with those! I do put money aside for the big bills each month, but the Vectra has come at the wrong time of year for the plan that I have had for several years - the previous Astra was always taxed in January, but I bought the Vectra in December with six months' tax on it, so it has moved the time of year! Time to change the plan...